37 is a long poke and probably better left to shots with less potential to go wrong. This is not a shot we recommend. With that said, we will briefly discuss those shots and then we will give you our shot recommendation and the reasons behind it. About the only obstacle to consider is the smaller ribs that will be encountered at the back-end of the ribcage. By Aron Snyder. Shot Placement Feature | Elk101.com | Eat. My rule of thumb for a frontal shot is 15 yards or closer, and I allow myself plenty of time to make a shot, especially for elk. All in all, a head-on shot with a bow is far more likely to result in a lost and wounded deer than a successful recovery. Two best places to shoot a deer are the brain and approximately 4-inches above the heart. That is the question that confronts us, hunters when we have a deer in our sights. If an arrow is lucky enough to make it through this area of large bones, it still has a long ways to go to get into the vitals (up to 48″ on elk) and will often stop short of the lungs in the stomach/gut area. ADVERTISEMENT. Not much can be debated regarding a standing, broadside shot. We will wait for the broadside shot, and you will shoot for the central lung shot just above the heart. I have just let the air out of the balloon…it IS a dead bull. He ended up shooting it twice, although it would have been just as dead with the first shot. There are 2 issues that definitely need to be mentioned if you are considering a frontal shot: (1) Don’t aim low. This applies to every aspect of the shot: distance, angle, etc. I think most hunters have a problem with the frontal brain shot angle, other than that the shot is a simple one and at close range..but be sure you have tested your rifle at very close ranges, you may be surprised where you point of impact may be..Do your homework before you shoot and elephant is the best advise I can think of right off hand.. Arrow penetrated 11 inches and sheared off when he ran. Wait them out! Be careful with shooting to far towards the shoulder as the leg bone and shoulder blade are tough bones to penetrate. However, it is imperative that the hunter that shoots this shot has a complete grasp of an elk’s anatomy as well as great shooting skill. Plenty of guys still shooting with stick bows and getting it done every season. A password reset link will be e-mailed to you. The guide then went on to convince me that when hunting on the ground, perfectly level with an elk, that the frontal shot is a fine shot to make at a close distance. The last two shots are highly debated and can create controversy between even the best of hunting partners – the quartering-to and the frontal shots. Shooting off-center (especially combined with a low shot) on a frontal shot exposes an arrow to deflection off the ribs, resulting in the arrow penetrating between the rib cage and the shoulder blade. Additionally, the jugular as well as several other main arteries run through here, and the resulting blood loss from a shot in this area can be devastating. AND if you shoot a heavy arrow with solid energy, you help yourself with a pass-through and a blood trail that Ray Charles could follow. Bowhunting: Frontal Shot Placement. The arguments against taking a frontal shot, however, are worth taking a look at as well. I’m done elk hunting for the year, and will not take that shot again on an elk. HUNT ELK! Good luck this season! In the photo you will see the body of the elk from the side, in the photo you will shoot for the bottom middle third of the chest. Penetration into the vitals (usually 12-18″ needed for elk) typically isn’t an issue. Make it automatic to know exactly what to do when presented with an opportunity or a no-shot decision. I’ve spent most of my hunting career with a rifle but have chased animals with a bow before and will do so a lot more in the future and I love the 2 holes approach, and even more the bit about aiming for the offside leg on quartering shots. When it comes to shot placement on elk, the bottom line is this – shoot where you are confident. It provides great exposure to the vitals with minimal resistance. The frontal shot is one that is hotly contested. So again, I can’t say not to shoot there. Aiming low puts you in the “sternum” area and although the ribs are small in this area, at a fully frontal angle they are concentrated and it is best to hit above them. Deadly shot, If made. A better way to focus on the elk shot placement comes from a picture that is centered just above the shoulder of the animal: One final picture depicts where you would aim on an animal that is facing you. To learn more, subscribe to the University of Elk Hunting . Elk Vitals: The best vital shot placement on an elk with a bow is a double lung shot with the animal standing broadside. We always recommend to shoot whatever works best with your setup. You could hear arrow cutting swamp reeds on his far side for quite a ways. Educate yourself and practice, and your confidence will lead to success in the field! I had never taken a frontal shot on a bull elk until last week. By Joseph von Benedikt. Not knowing this can cost you a bull of a lifetime–even worse–without a comprehensive understanding of elk anatomy and your abilities, you might end up wounding a magnificent bull and never recover it. The bullet, after being cleaned looked like something from a magazine add. Double LungMy number one goal is 2 holes to insure I recover my bull. I would strongly advise against aiming behind the shoulder on a quartering-to shot as you will get one lung at best and the bloodtrail will typically be difficult. Each and every one of us has to to determine just what the most effective range and shot placement is, that we are most comfortable with as ethical and responsible hunters. Frontal is best avoided if possible, especially on heavy critters. One of my hunting buddies has a barnes X bullet he recovered from the hide on the opposite side of a cow elk he shot. You need to understand that there are very lethal shot locations that can be made, and we have nothing against someone choosing to take those shots. Quartering to shot Pick your aiming point to go through the front point of the near side shoulder, through the heart and angling back toward the last rib. I know this is a controversial subject, but hear me out. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b29d9f4c551fdd2ab1726a589fcd8bf0f3c20ba70223128ac8a615fb472c7466.jpg, https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b29d9f4c551fdd2ab1726a589fcd8bf0f3c20ba70223128ac8a615fb472c7466.jpg. Most of the reasoning against taking the shot, however, has originated from one of two perspectives: a lack of understanding of elk anatomy or a previous bad experience with the shot. If I double lung the bull, he is going down in a hundred yards…especially if I bugle after my shot to calm him down. We totally love what we do and when we get to share it with others and help them to have some of the same incredible experiences that has made our lives so special, well Bud, that’s a win win! Whatever the case, we owe it to the animals we hunt to do all we can to make a quick, clean kill. The Frontal The frontal shot, when made, is a devastating shot. Animals shot here, generally will go down in minutes, if not seconds. I did, and I’m glad, he turned full broadside and I placed the broadhead right behind his near leg as he made his first step to my left. The bullet weight required increases as bullet diameter increases. This is not a bragging point, rather an example of how the frontal shot can be highly effective when selectively taken. Rangefinders have eliminated much of the guessing game in judging distance, but many times an opportunity presents itself so quickly that we don’t have time to get an accurate range. More Hunting. ADVERTISEMENT. I love the way you guys put your info out there. Take some time to study the information MasterGuide Joe gives you here–over and over again! It is best to aim for the “vitals”, the area within the body cavity that houses the heart and lungs, as there are several major arteries in and around those organs that can produce sudden and severe blood loss. The FrontalThe frontal shot, when made, is a devastating shot. The center of the red dot is where you should aim to make a clean kill on a frontal shot. I want a blood trail …. The drawbacks to consider on a quartering-away shot are the possibility of only hitting one lung as well as hitting the off-side shoulder which would prevent a pass-through. I don’t care if he dies in 30 or a hundred yards. Best feature EVER on shot placement. Hoping to go up this Saturday and let the crows and buzzards find him for me. Penetration – many hunters will argue that it is difficult to get penetration in this area, referring to the “grapefruit-sized” opening you have to hit in order to miss the ribs. The image to the left provides a good reference for each shot possibility. Animals shot here, generally will go down in minutes, if not seconds. It does no good to be proficient with a bow or rifle and know the distance to the target, if you don’t know where to aim. It is important to note, however, the angle of the leg bone. He went in depth with telling me about all the arteries that converge in the front of the heart, which sits fairly close to the front of the chest. A great aiming point is half-way up the body, right on the crease behind the shoulder. At a slightly sharper angle, the leg bone is not directly in alignment with the vitals, but it leaves a smaller margin of error than a broadside shot. The brain. I need to get ready for my weekend elk trip and am running a little short on time so I will probably post pictures after the weekend. The broadside shot is, without a doubt, the best shot you can take on an elk. The heart and all of the largest, busiest blood vessels that go with it, plus the trachea and front third … Contrary to many thoughts, the leg bone does not run straight up the leg but actually angles forward, creating a nice pocket directly above the point of the elbow. When it comes to shot placement on elk, remember that our emphasis as your coaches is to insure a solid, responsible and ethical shot. Avoid aiming at the transition of dark to light hair – this is where the sternum comes together and you can also see the leg bones are closer together in this area. Wish I would have read this before last week. The quartering away shot is a favorite of many elk hunters. Perhaps we’ve all felt the heartache that often accompanies a missed shot. If the bull is quartering away and you shoot that spot, and the heart is missed….that means you only get one lung. If you shoot low, you have lungs and the heart. The animal that might have traveled farthest was a 6×6 bull elk shot at 75 yards in thick cover, using a .300 Winchester Magnum with 200-grain Nosler Partitions handloaded to 2950 fps. The 12 Best Cartridges for Elk Hunting. Being comfortable with the “manual” method of distance-judging is important. Not a high percentage shot, but there are elk that are shot broadside at dusk, it rains or snows, and the hunters spend days looking with no results. So I always shoot for a double lung. Last week I called a bull in to 18 yards, I had reason to believe he would scent me and spook before offering a broadside shot. First, I’ve killed elk at distances inside 30 yards with a full-frontal shot. 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